The January 2016 Checklist


  1. Volunteer for Martin Luther King Jr. Day: In college, my sorority would always volunteer for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I have off from work and want to find a volunteer opportunity this year.
  2. Take a Digital Detox: I’m going to choose one day to take a digital detox. I’ll unplug for 24 hours.
  3. Try a New Workout: I love writing fitness reviews and want to start writing at least two or three a month. I want to try a new workout this month.
  4. Cook Two Recipes From the 100 Days of Real Food Cookbook: One of my goals was to cook more this month. I’m going to try a few new recipes and will hopefully take good photos and post them!
  5. Keep a Journal: I have a 40 minute commute both ways. I read The Skimm, The New York Times, and the Buzzfeed News newsletter on the way to work, but I want to start journaling on the way home. I heard Leandra Medine from Manrepeller speak last month and she talked about how writing for herself has helped her with her writing. If I can get a seat, I’ll write on the way home.
  6. Blog Five Days a Week: I used to blog five days a week then I took a break and went to three. I’m going to try writing five posts a week this month.
  7. Eat “Clean”: My 30 Day Challenge for this month is to eat clean.
  8. Learn to Make my Mom’s Famous Tofu Marbella: One of my favorite memories from childhood is having family dinner every single night. My favorite meal is my mom’s famous tofu marbella (she makes chicken for everyone else). I want to cook it with her this month.
  9. See a Show: I saw a few shows recently and want to see another this month. I saw Spring Awakening on Broadway five times when I was in high school and college so I really want to see the Spring Awakening revival! (Seriously, I know every single lyric to every single song, even the latin parts!)
  10. Read Two Books: Right now I’m reading The Luckiest Girl Alive and next up is Funny Girl. My friend taught me how to download library books to my iPad and it is THE BEST. I’m saving so much money on books.

What are some things you want to accomplish this month? I’d love inspiration for my next list.

Image via Torey Beerman.

54 Responses to The January 2016 Checklist

  1. Jess Zimlich says:

    I have a few go-to workouts, but I’m looking to try a few new ones as well (and with ClassPass, I have no excuse). Luckiest Girl Alive was by far the best book I read in 2015. I’m getting ready to start You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. Have you read it? These are great goals, Elana!

  2. Love your goals for the month! I’m definitely focusing more on my health this year and want to take at least two fitness classes a week. I would also like to learn more about food and nutrition. That cookbook you mentioned sounds like just what I need to read.

  3. Mikayla says:

    I really need a digital detox myself! I really love this list of your goals!

    Mikayla | A Seersucker State of Mind.

  4. Jenny says:

    This is a great list of goals.
    Oh how envious of you am I for not having to drive to work each day. I feel like I could get so much done each morning if we had other forms of transportation here down in the south.

    xoxo, Jenny

  5. Alexandra Adams says:

    Getting library books on my iPad might be the best thing I’ve ever heard! Definitely looking into that!

    Alexandra Adams | X-Height-Ment

  6. Jordyn says:

    These are fabulous goals for the month, and so ambitious! I love your workout reviews and think journaling for yourself is an awesome practice!

    • Elana Lyn Gross says:

      Thank you so much! I always wonder if people who aren’t from NYC will like the workout reviews so I’m so glad that you like them. Even more motivation to continue. xo

  7. Lindsay says:

    Reading more is always on my check list too 🙂

    Sugar & Something

  8. Sara says:

    These are really unique items – I love the idea of a monthly checklist, and the idea of volunteering for MLK day is wonderful.

  9. Courtney says:

    Great goals!!

    I love that the new year gives you a chance to start fresh!

  10. Ashley Mason says:

    Awesome goals! I’m hoping to read two books and blog more as well!

  11. Audrey Stowe says:

    love the idea of #2… I really need to do that as well

  12. Michaela says:

    These are great things to do in January. Realistic things to accomplish. I never thought to do fitness reviews. How do you do yours?


  13. Amy says:

    Awesome ideas! I need to do a digital detox soon, I am always on some kind of technology and I think it will be good to have a break from it!

    Amy |

  14. This is a great list of goals! This month my main goal is to schedule at least half of my posts for February because I’m challenging myself to put up new content every day in February.

  15. Sarah says:

    Blog 5x a week? You go, girl. Seriously.

    On a workout note, I did a free week trial at Basecamp fitness and really enjoyed the format. Not sure if they’re in NYC, but keep an ear out!

  16. Jackie says:

    I’m wishing I had an iPad now so I could download library books! Such a good idea and money saver.

  17. Kayleigh says:

    I swear I’ve been saying I’ll eat clean everyday for the last six months! Love these goals!

  18. Sara Kate says:

    I have been trying to cook more too and there’s nothing better than trying a new recipe and feeling achieved! You go girl!

    Sara Kate Styling

  19. Emily says:

    Elana! These are awesome goals! I’m a big supporter of the 24 hour digital detox. We are way too caught up in our digital worlds that we sometimes forget about the people IRL! Also love the library book downloads, do tell! Let me know if you need a work out/cooking buddy!


  20. I love this blog post idea!! Great way to keep monthly manageable goals. Definitely will need to start doing something like this on my blog in the future. I always love reading blogger’s lists of things they want to do, not sure why but I always find it so interesting.

    • Elana Lyn Gross says:

      Thank you, Allie. Writing down manageable goals helps me remember them and stay accountable. I love reading other people’s lists too — I get a lot of inspiration from them. I’ll be looking out for yours.

  21. Cristina says:

    You should totally tell me how to download library books on your phone! I’m a huge bookworm, but I can’t keep spending money haha 🙂 These are all great goals!


    • Elana Lyn Gross says:

      I went to my local library and got a library card, then I went to the library’s website and entered my ID number and made an online account, then I downloaded the app 3M. I hope it works! Email me if you have questions.

  22. Nicole says:

    Journaling is a really great way to destress after a long day at work. It really frees up the mind. I love all your goals! You are going to know it out of the park. I’m cheering for you!!

    Nicole // Chronicling Home

  23. Ruya says:

    I’ve been meaning to do a digital detox too, I heard it can enhance your creativity and makes you think clearer.


  24. Lauren says:

    Woo! Yes love these! Can’t wait to see you blog 5x week!

  25. Great list! I’m focusing on new workouts and eating clean this month too!


  26. Ally Gagliardo says:

    These are some great, and seemingly achievable goals, which is important!

  27. Amanda Cross says:

    I love all these goals for January. A ton of great things and reading is one of my goals this month as well. I am going to be reading “Yes, Please!” by Amy Poehler, because that is the book of the month for my sororites Alumna Book Club!

  28. I LOVE the idea of a digital detox…I’m going to have to try that!!


    Hannah from

  29. Allison says:

    I love that you’re going to do a Digital Detox–It would be So hard for me to do that!

  30. Great goals!!! The 5 blogs a week would be really hard for me but you go girl!!
    I love the 24 detox goal, I think I’ll tag along for this one 🙂

  31. This is a great checklist! I love to go unplugged around the holidays- but I really need to do it more often!

  32. I really want to do a 24 hour digital detox! I’m obsessed with all your goals and stole some of them (sorry!)

  33. Sarah says:

    Love these! I’m trying to eat clean for january too – I’m in a wedding at the end of the month!

    x Sarah

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  35. The older I get, the less and less resolutions I make, simply because I’m such a perfectionist that I tend to get fixated on “goals” instead of celebrating my achievements. Hoping you take the time to properly enjoy all milestones – big and small – as you work towards your big goals!

    That digital detox, though… Definitely something I need.

    XO, Oksana |

  36. Sara Holt says:

    I love that you set monthly goals! I should do that in an effort to better complete the ones I have!

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